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Salvador Dali’s Painting “The Constancy of Memory” Essay

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Updated: Jul 17th, 2022

Introduction

Art is an integral part of human culture and every person’s life. It began to arise as soon as people had a desire to create and thus express their attitude to the world around them, to pass on their experience and knowledge. Over time, people learned to create more complex works of art. The valuable knowledge that the creators possessed was systematized and passed down from generation to generation in the form of separate sciences. People began to organize theater and dance performances, create musical instruments, and play them. Build their own homes, decorate them, make one house utterly different from another, paint pictures, and write books.

One of the most common and complex types of art is visual art. It has delighted and surprised people with the ability to create masterpieces, recreating reality, or transferring imaginary worlds to canvases of all ages. Artists, plunging into their passion, spent their last money on rare materials at that time. They painted pictures for years, putting their soul into their work, which quite noticeably affected their results. Now people look with admiration at every detail of the masterpieces displayed in museums and galleries.

The circumstances of the creation of the picture

Salvador Dali’s painting, “The Constancy of Memory”, made the most vivid impression on me. This masterpiece was created by the artist in 1931 and was also called “Soft Watch.” Dotson (2020) claims that this painting became the most famous creation of the artist. The image is the personification of the artist himself, the totality of his views and thoughts, beliefs, phobias, obsessions, and financial circumstances at the time of painting. Dali’s beloved woman was not accepted by his father, after which there was a quarrel resulting from which Dali was expelled from his father’s house. He and his beloved were in a critical financial situation, and in addition to love, they had a fear of tomorrow. They were worried that they might have nothing to eat tomorrow, as their income was small and not regular.

One evening they were visited by friends with whom they had dinner and were going to the cinema, but Dali had a migraine, and he left at home. He watched the Camembert cheese that had been leftover from dinner melt in the sun. Then he got up and went to the bedroom, passing by the studio, where there was an unfinished landscape with views of the rocks and a dry olive tree in the foreground. The artist felt that the picture was missing something but could not understand what exactly. He was about to leave when the thought occurred that what was missing was a watch that melts like Camembert cheese. He completed the painting with images of a melting clock and his self-portrait in the center.

Detailed picture description

Each element of the picture carries a specific meaning; for example, the rock is the personification of his native place since his house was located next to the rock. Three clocks mean past, present, and future time, and their soft form implies that time is perceived by people subjectively since it has the property of running at different speeds. The clock turned upside down in the artist’s understanding means that the generally accepted concept of time is wrong because it does not exist as such. The painting depicts the evening as a symbol of sadness and melancholy and determines the overall mood of the picture.

Conclusion

From this picture, I can conclude that it will later affect both work and life in general – this is the idea of time. Time passes, everything around changes, and even though the style of the picture is quite pessimistic, it is still worth taking time as a gift given to each person. In addition to this painting and the visual arts in general, I was also impressed by literature. Reading books, looking for their deep meaning, I expand my horizons, and it also helps me replenish my vocabulary. Naturally, a beautiful speech, extensive knowledge is necessary for any work and personal life. Everyone will be interested in communicating with an intelligent and well-read person who understands art and literature.

Reference

Dotson, S. (2020). . Artsy. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Salvador Dali’s Painting “The Constancy of Memory”." July 17, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/salvador-dalis-painting-the-constancy-of-memory/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Salvador Dali’s Painting “The Constancy of Memory”'. 17 July.

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